Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. J.K. Rowling
Those words were said by J.K. Rowling, the British novelist best known as the author of the Harry Potter books, during her commencement address at Harvard, where she explains the fringe benefits of failing and the importance of imagination. She talks about experiencing poverty and the fear, stress, and depression that comes with it as well as the thousand petty humiliations and hardships that failure brings.
I can certainly relate to everything she said. For a certain period of my life I was the biggest failure I knew. Life became so hard, struggling day to day, but the minute I had a vision of the life I wanted to live, everything changed.
My darkest days and the failures that it was built around included:
• My beautiful home with its indoor swimming pool being repossessed.
• I was declared bankrupt.
• My fitness gym business fell apart.
• I lost a lot of my sight from my right eye and went through a long period of I’ll health.
Continuing Rowling’s speech:
‘I had no idea then how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality.’
We both resolved to follow the same path for our solution. I can just hope to see a fraction of her success at my conclusion. We realised life’s too short to struggle and too long to give up, so we owed it to ourselves to direct all our energy into finishing the only work that mattered to us.
You see we get a choice. We can either give up the fight and see our disasters as being final and allow them to keep us on the floor or we can dig deep within and find the determination to succeed in the one arena we believe we truly belong. Letting nothing ever stopping us from doing this.
I was to experience another major setback. 2014 was a year of 3 major losses.
In the February I lost my mother, her battle with Dementia finally ending. Yet being a very typical mummy’s boy I felt her loss greatly.
In the October my divorce was finalised. 20 years of marriage and about 5 years of courting coming to an end.
Then in the November I had another retinal detachment and was left with only a fog out of that eye. I was now as my consultant said ‘someone who would have to learn to live with just one eye.’
All this hit me very badly on the Boxing Day when I was at home very much alone. Unable to see my children or any of my family I was down, very down. This year was coming to an end in the worst way imaginable for me.
I admit that maybe for the 1st time in my life my mind began to spiral out of control in an incredibly negative way. I lay in bed and questioned whether there was any point of going on.
The answer that my brain literally shouted out to me was to set me free, because I was still alive, and I still had my daughters, granddaughter and grandson on the way whom I loved with all my heart, and where J.K. Rowling ‘had an old typewriter and a big idea’ I had a laptop, my books to finish and a blog I loved maintaining. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
It is when you find yourself alone, standing at the worst point in your life, when you realize that only YOU can change your circumstances. Your family and friends can only do so much – and are probably already exhausted from trying to support you.
It was time for me to reinvent myself, as you can anytime you’re ready, and this in it’s own right gave me a message of what I am meant to do. To use the lessons learned from my fall to inspire and help others with theirs. Coaching, inspiring and giving hope to others is the greatest joy in life.
Maybe losing my sight and becoming visually impaired gave me the perfect audience for who I could make the difference. My passion for personal development had served me well and had helped me survive, I see it as my mission to share this with others helping them get through, particularly those experienced visual impairment and guiding them so as to cope with the emotional difficulties they’ll face. The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive, and this you can teach to others.
I understand that times are tough out there – and it’s difficult to believe the only way is up, but you have to grip on to the belief that there is a light at the end of the tunnel – and one day soon you will be looking back – knowing that you made it.
I wrote a blog article way back in 2011 called A Vision For Your Life where I said
You will keep going until you have materialised it all into your reality.Creating a vivid life vision transforms your life, empowering you to achieve everything you can see. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions”. By imagining what your life will look like when you’ve achieved your dreams you will be creating that very life. This vision helps to form a clear picture in your mind of what it would be like to live this dream, and by imagining these things you will feel inspired, excited and motivated to take action.
That is what you have to do to get yourself up off the floor not accepting hitting rock bottom will be your final outcome.